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Metadata API and field level accessiblity

I am looking at various ways view field-level level security for a given profile across all objects/fields that a profile has access to. I've used the Force.com IDE to download profile metadata files and need some help understanding this:

A Child field of a Master-Detail relationship is listed as "hidden" in the metadata xml file, but within salesforce is set as "visible" for that profile/object/field combination. Fields which are not child fields of a master-detail relationship are listed as "hidden" only when they are not visible for the profile/object/field combination. 

<!--Both the master-detail field and the non-master-detail field have the hidden attribute
even though the master-detail field visibility is checked for this profile/object/field combination-->

What does "hidden" really mean within profile metadata file?
How can I view field level security across all objects/fields for a given profile? Is this possible?
Bump.  I just ran into this too.  If this is a bug, any idea when it will be fixed?

Yep. Just noticed this too. This is an annoying inconsistency when thinking about using Metadata data as reliable info about field visiblity and security. :(


rajesh k 10rajesh k 10
Hi ,
       Actually i created fields using metadata api but created fileds Field-Level Security for Profile(Administrator) place visible and editable checkboxes not checked(any profile not checked i am a administrator).Every time i will goto Setup->Manage->users>administrator->custom field level security->related object name and click view and checked to metadata created fields visible and editable.How to check this visible and editable checkboxes Using apex DML permissionsets dynamically through Coding?.

please help me.........